Testosterone patch benefits women with low sexual desire

August 14, 2007

Novel research published in the current issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine supports the claim that women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder or HSDD (persistent or recurrent deficiency and/or absence of sexual fanatasies/thoughts, and/or desire for, or receptivity to, sexual activity, which causes personal distress) show noted improvement in sexual desire and sexual function following low dose testosterone treatment.

Two randomized double-blind, placebo controlled trials in surgically postmenopausal (uterus and ovaries removed) women with HSDD demonstrated that transdermal testosterone patch treatment resulted in significant improvements in the frequency of satisfying sexual activity and sexual desire, as well as a decrease in sexual distress.

A total of 132 participants from the 2 trials were interviewed after a 6-month treatment period regarding their experience with the treatment. Results revealed a significant increase in frequency of satisfying sexual activity and sexual desire based on women experiencing the treatment as beneficial. Those women had an average increase in sexual activity of 4.4 times per 4 weeks. In contrast, women who did not experience a benefit had only a 0.5 increase in activity per 4 weeks.

“More women on testosterone experienced a meaningful benefit (52 percent vs. 31 percent) and, in fact, the odds of experiencing a meaningful benefit on testosterone were 2.4 times greater than that of placebo,” says Sheryl Kingsberg, principal author of the study. Since the women were also able to judge for themselves whether or not the treatment was beneficial, those who experienced benefit were interested in continuing treatment.

“These findings not only confirm the clinical effectiveness of transdermal testosterone, but provide benchmarks for the degree of improvement in sexual function that all future therapies for this disorder should try to attain,” says Jan Shifren, co-author of the study.

"This is an especially relevant clinical study in the field of sexual medicine," said Dr. Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. "These important data reinforce the positive value that treatment with the low dose testosterone patch can bring to the quality-of-life of surgically post-menopausal women with HSDD."

Source: Blackwell Publishing

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